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Advanced Synthesis Option Studio 48-500 High_Rise ”Untitled” 2018 | New York, NY

Studio Professor and Coordinator: Gerard Damiani | Fall 2018



This studio focused on studying the works of Donald Judd as a basis for designing a mixed use high rise across the street from the Judd Foundation. We looked at various aspects of Judd's works, primarily the consciousness of their context, space, material, color, and detail and incorporated aspects of those principles into our design. 

We took care to include considerations for required public amenities, staff facilities for the management of the exhibition space, local zoning restrictions, egress requirements, and mechanical facilities.

This mixed-use tower is to provide additional exhibition space for artists curated by Flavin and Rainer Judd. The spatial container provided must allow for artwork to be presented in a number of formats.

1 Gallery: Interaction with daylight

1 Gallery: Integration within a neutral spatial container (white box)

1 Gallery: Integrated within the architectural context you provide

Public entry for Museum/ Building Entry

Museum Store

Ticketing Desk

Public Restrooms


Staff Offices

Director & Assistant Office Suite

Special Programs Director Office

Docent Lounge

Administration Assistant Office

Conference Room & Research Library

Conservation Room

Staff Unisex Restroom


Public Entry for Museum


Building Service Entry

Central Mechanical Floor Servicing both Galleries and Residential Unit


The residential tower is to accommodate any number of residences while creating an understanding of Donald Judd's residential spaces.

Entry & Entry Closet




1/2 Bath

Full Bath (tub and shower)

Master Bedroom with Walk-In Closet

One to Two Bedrooms with Closets

Shared Bath


Entry & Entry Closet




Full Bath (tub and shower)

One Bedroom with Closet




1. Museum: Parts of a whole.

Judd created three series in 1986 (purple), 1988 (yellow), and 1998 (green), all untitled, that explored how boxes stacked vertically can have the same grid but through voids and surface, impact the perception of that box, the space inside, and its relationship to the others in the series. 

Judd Boxes C1.jpg

“You should have a definite whole and maybe no parts, or very few. The parts are always more important than the whole... Anything that is not absolutely plain begins to have parts in some way. The thing is to be able to work and do different things and yet not break up the wholeness that a piece has”

-Donald Judd, Interview with Bruce Glaser: “Questions to Stella and Judd”

Within the gallery, the building plays with surface and void's impact on the space and artwork within.

Box C1.JPG

2. Museum: Light.

Judd has a very sensitive relationship to light. 


His 100 untitled works of milled aluminum located in Marfa,Texas, bend, reflect, and at times glow as

their metal surfaces react with the natural sunlight streaming through the space. Not only does this

change how the visitor interprets the pieces, it also changing the entire experience within the room as

the light starts to take on an almost tangible presence.

Boxes C2.jpg

His most famous series of boxes are vertical stacks of aluminum with colored plexiglass on the top and bottom that, with the right light, allows the light, tinted by the plexiglass, to take on a perceived presence of its own, becoming another player in the dialogue of the piece.

Boxes C3.jpg

Through the use of steel cladding, the main museum floors are able to reference the untitled boxes iconic to Judd while playing with the dynamic of light refracting through its space. In contrast, the concrete walls encapsulating the white box gallery serve both as a reference to unassuming nature of the white museum walls that those referenced boxes juxtapose and as the structural basis for the entire building. 

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Floor Plans.jpg

In the design of the Judd Foundation, Judd worked with architects to ensure there would be natural light brought into both floors of the basement, giving a very different feel than artificial lighting would permit.

Box C4.jpg

The grid that guides the outside, dictating the orientation of walls or the placement of voids has also been brought into the space through the use of cutouts dictated by both the grid and structural beams where visitors can peer down past their feet at the artwork and people below.

3. Human relationship to height.

Mezzanine Render.jpg
Floor Plans.jpg

3. Museum: Human relationship to height.

A few floors of the Judd Foundation contain permanent curated pieces by Judd himself that align with the space, furniture, and sight-lines of the average person. The relationship that people have with the space and art pieces depend on their height, influencing the experience and bringing a self awareness of their bodies in the context of this environment. 

Box C5.jpg

The gallery walls have been pulled down to end at seven feet, allowing light to filter in through the sections of glass floors above. The height of these walls also serve to bring awareness of human scale within the space. Though taller than the pieces that Judd placed in his exhibitions across the street, the walls serve a functional role to create independent spaces both isolated from the other pieces and innately interconnected with the identity of the floor. 

Museum Render.jpg
Floor Plans.jpg

4. Residential: Breaking the box.

Though less well known, Judd had a series of works in 1981 (left) and 1983 (right) that explored rotating within an enclosed box and the impact such a simple shift had on the piece itself.

Box C6.jpg

“The main thing wrong with painting is that it is a rectangular plane placed flat against the wall. A rectangle is a shape itself… It determines and limited the arrangements of whatever is on or inside of it... The composition must react to the edges and the rectangle must be unified”

-Donald Judd, “Specific Objects”

Taking the concept of rotation within set boundaries of a physical space, the residential floors adapt the footprint of the gallery spaces, rotating the walls 30 and 60 degrees each, impacting the furniture and utilization of the spaces inside each apartment. Not only does this shift the relationship between people and space, it also changes the focal point of each floor and how natural lighting plays with the surfaces within. 

Repetition of core vital components such as the structural columns, beams, and vents hidden below the raised floor bring the attention of visitors and residents to the differences and similarities as they rise from the straight corridors of the entrance floor into the shifted  main residential spaces.

Residential Render.jpg
Floor Plans.jpg


Site Plan.jpg
Ground Plan
Floor Plans.jpg
Floor Plans.jpg
Residential Floor Plans
Museum Floor Plans
Floor Plans.jpg
Administration Floor Plans 
Site Plan + Corner Detail.jpg
Wall Corner Detail
East Elevation
South Elevation
Street Render.jpg
Street Render                
Museum Model in 1/4" = 1' scale to better understand the space
Final Model in 1/16" = 1' scale to represent the exterior form of the building
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